(Springfield, Mo.) While many people are ready for fireworks and barbecues for the Fourth of July celebration, first responders are urging people to keep safety in mind.
The Fourth of July is just a week away and many people are gearing up for one of the most popular past times-fireworks. However fireworks put thousands of people in the emergency room each year.
"We get excited, we’re having fun, and sometimes when we’re having fun and we get the adrenaline going safety becomes a lesser issue for us than it should be," explains Tom Emery, Injury Prevention Outreach Coordinator, CoxHealth.
No matter where you are celebrating, Emery and first responders are reminding us to use caution while setting off legal fireworks to bring in the holiday.
"We treat firework injuries every year and they can be as minor as burns but they can also be severe as loss of fingers, hands, or even your eyesight."
Last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Fireworks, there were nearly 13,000 reported injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms across the country.
"People do not set out to be injured but they play with them and they have experiences where they didn’t get hurt so they repeat it and then that one time happens where they do get an injury."
Emery says before you light that fuse, you want to make sure you're prepared. First of all., there are multiple forms of fireworks.
"You need to understand what the firework is intended to do some fireworks will spin on the ground, go in circles, and those require certain safety measures."
Medical experts encourage people to have fun, but use common sense when it comes to shooting off fireworks since children under the age of 15 accounted for 36% of last years injuries.
"Younger people will sometimes try to find the duds or the fireworks that didn’t go off the next day and sometimes will see injuries related to children out collecting those and trying to find some ways to make them ignite."
For a list of safety tips and how to stay safe when using fireworks:
-Always wear eye protection.
- Light only one firework at a time.
- Do not try to relight "dud" fireworks. Wait 20 minutes and then soak in a bucket of water.
-Never be under the influence of alcohol when using fireworks.
-Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.